Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall Projects

If you are planning on transplanting a tree this fall, now is the time to root prune. For root pruning trees, a good rule of thumb is for every inch in diameter of tree, you want twelve inches of root ball. Sometimes this is not practical because you are usually transplanting an over-crowded tree or a tree located too close to a house or sidewalk. If this is the case, outline the biggest ball you can possibly move and just dig straight down severing the roots without actually removing the soil. Come back in a month and dig away from the area that you severed leaving your tree in a little moat. Spray the tree with Transfilm (anti-transparent) and remove the tree.

Spray horticulture oils now to kill over-wintering insects, this will put you ahead of the insect game in the spring. Try Neem Oil this year and you will control some diseases as a bonus.

Yes, it is time to winterize your turf. Look for a product with a 00 for the first number (nitrogen). A 00-00-25 with sulfate of potash and minors would be great. If you do not need the potash, consider SeaHume a wonderful combination of seaweed and humic acid. The seaweed has over 60 minor nutrients, amino acids, and bio stimulants. The humic acid is also full of bio stimulants that help make nutrients that are in the soil available to the plant, help with soil structure, grow roots, and feed the microorganisms in the soil. Both these products can be used together and will help your yard this winter and next spring.

Beware of the national ad campaigns talking about winterizing fertilizers. These products are usually formulated for cool season grasses (rye, fescue). I saw one over the weekend that was a 22-00-14. Not exactly what we want to put on our yard in mid-October in the Lowcountry.

When buying gas for your lawn mower, be sure to include a gas stabilizer to help prevent your carburetor from getting varnished over the winter. Try to purchase gas from a gas station that has ethanol free gas for your mower as well as your two cycle hand held equipment.

Hold off putting out pine straw or mulching the beds until the leaves in the trees have dropped, so the leaves do not mess up your new straw or mulch. If you recycle the leaves that drop in your yard instead of bagging them and setting them by the curb, you will gain some free nutrients and organic matter.

Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.